As I was photographing in Kanaka Creek on Sunday, I was reminded again on a comment my ecology instructor at BCIT had made. He was talking about the interplay and dependencies for the flora and fauna in the landscape. He went on to say that those relationships should be very obvious to the observer, so much so that they would be “screaming” for attention and study. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I understood what he meant by the screaming comment, albeit in a slightly different context. Often times I find that photographic compositions are not only apparent, but that they are “screaming” to be photographed. On some occasions in fact, they are so loud and plentiful that it is a marathon to keep up with them! Such was the case yesterday at Kanaka Creek Regional Park. I decided to check out a different section of the park, east of Cliff Falls that I photographed in late July, starting at the Bell-Irving Fish Hatchery and walking west along the creek. Here is a link to the PDF map to provide some context. The fall colours were present in several of the trees and shrubs, though a bit muted.
I started early in the morning near first light and managed to have perfect lighting for the day. The canyon walls shaded the creek from direct sunlight while still allowing the sun lit fall colours to reflect warmly in the water surface. I really enjoy that type of lighting where the majority of the features are softly illuminated but the water reflects the various colours of the forest.
The majority of my time was spent in a short 150 metre section of the creek as the compositions were so plentiful there (yes, screaming in fact). On this trip I spent some extra time trying faster shutter speeds for some of the water centric photos. While I am a fan of the “milky” soft water look, I felt that several of the photos would benefit from having more definition in the water. Here are two examples; first, where seeing the shape of the water as it is dispersed while cascading over the rock ledge adds interest, and second, to retain the “ridges” in this abstract photo. So with increased shutter speeds by using increased ISO, I was pleased to see the improvement in the photos.
I also spent some time with employing leading lines for some of the compositions to assist drawing the viewer’s eye into the photo. I think for myself, it was less about finding the leading lines and more about being correct in the placement of the focus point to ensure sharpness front to back. I have mentioned before how much I am enjoying the Sigma 35mm Art lens, and I used it for all of the photographs on this trip. With careful placement of the focus point and not exceeding f11, it is an amazing lens.
As you can see from the number of photos I posted in this blog entry, the compositions were plentiful and it was a very enjoyable outing. I also shot numerous video clips of the creek. Once I get my desktop computer unpacked, I am going to assemble some of the videos and post them on the site. A final comment on access to this section of Kanaka Creek. Cliff Falls parking lot provides access to the waterfalls on the west side, while the Bell-Irving Fish Hatchery parking lot on the east side provides access to several sections of the creek containing pools and cascades. Both of these access points are interconnected with a few trails, the most direct is the 1.25km Canyon Trail.